Four council officials on ‘Town Hall Rich List’

Roger Wilson, Chief Executive, Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council.
Roger Wilson, Chief Executive, Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council.

Four employees on Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council earned more than £100,000 during the last financial year.

The figures were made available by the TaxPayers’ Alliance which this week published its annual ‘Town Hall Rich List’ detailing the top earning council staff throughout the UK.

Top earner on the local council was Chief Executive Roger Wilson who was paid a total of £138,650 (including £21,150 pension contribution).

He was among the top council earners in Northern Ireland for 2017/18 - Belfast City Council’s chief executive Suzanne Wylie topped the NI salary league earning a total of £162,250 – nearly £30,000 more than the next biggest earner.

Other top earners were Newry, Mourne and Down chief executive Liam Hannaway on £138,950 and Antrim and Newtownabbey chief executive Jacqui Dixon on £134,250.

The only NI council whose chief executive did not appear on the list as earning over £100,000 in 2017/18 was Lisburn and Castlereagh, whose former chief executive Theresa Donaldson announced in May 2018 she was to resign. She was replaced in November by David Burns. Dr Donaldson was a former chief executive on the old Craigavon Council.

At non chief executive level three other ABC employees earned in excess of £100,000.

Director of People Mike Reardon earned a total of £120,950 (including £18,450 pension benefit).

He was followed by Sharon O’Gorman, Director of Position, who was paid £103,250 (£18,750 pension benefit).

Also receiving £103,250 was Olga Muragh, Director of Place.

The top earner among the non chief executive positions was Ronan Cregan, director of finance and resources at Belfast City Council, on £126,850.

John O’Connell of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said it was disappointing that councils in the UK were “responding to financial reality through further tax rises (rates in NI) and reducing services rather than scaling back top pay”.

He said: “Despite many in the public sector facing a much-needed pay freeze to help bring the public finances under control, many town hall bosses are continuing to pocket huge remuneration packages, with staggering pay-outs for those leaving their jobs.

“There are talented people in the public sector who are trying to deliver more for less, but the sheer scale of these packages raise serious questions about efficiency and priorities.”